I’ve been studying business improvement. I often buy and use various things such as refreshments and seasonal clothes, and I hope my tiny effort will help the economy of Japan to thrive. Actually, the behavior of “buying goods” which drives the economy is closely related to the term «QCD» which I’ll illustrate here.
QCD refers to the outline of the importance of quality control based on delivering products of good quality (Quality) cheaply (Cost) and quickly (Delivery). It is important for companies and stores to employ the idea of QCD with the goods and services they provide to customers.
The Order of the 3 Letter Abbreviation, QCD, is also Meaningful
I’ll illustrate the meaning of each letter below.
- Q: Quality of goods and services
- C: Cost to manufacture and provide the product
- D: Delivery time of the product to the customer
The order of QCD’s letters is also significant. The reason why Q comes first is because «Quality» is the most important factor. If it doesn’t meet a certain quality standard it will never be defined as «merchandise». It is important to meet or exceed the customer’s requirements.
For example, when I buy an item at a 100 yen shop (a type of Dollar shop), I’m sometimes impressed by various practical items for just 100 yen. By the way, the items at 100 yen shops are priced as low as 100 yen, but they won’t be sold if they can’t be used practically.
If you use a 100 yen dishwashing sponge, for example, then find that it is sold in packs, not only it is normally usable but it rarely damages the dishes. Therefore, you’ll want to buy some packs of that sponge. Many items are purchased because they fulfill a certain level of «Quality». There are 100 yen shops in many parts of Japan.
QCD Comes from Great Challenges
The idea of QCD was accordingly advocated by Alexander H. Church in 1914. When the idea of QCD emerged it was right after World War 1 had finished and the American economy was suffering from severe depression. At that time, Herbert Hoover conducted the «Efficiency Movement» to eliminate waste in the industries, and companies promoted rationalization. Before then, each company had its own function such as «production of raw materials» and «Manufacturing», but as a result of rationalization, companies were integrated into one place and became large-scale plants.
At the same time, modern companies with various functions such as manufacturing, sales, and R & D became the main U.S. companies from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. That’s the origin of what we now call big companies.
In the Japanese manufacturing industry, QCD has gradually spread since the late 1960s and is now widely established. The concept of QCD spread in Japan after World War II. Company managers learned the knowledge of «Quality Control» from various experts. As a result, the quality of products made in Japan improved.
In the 1970s Americans focused on fuel-efficient Japanese cars and were impressed by their great quality when they tried them out. Because of that, the quality and level of Japanese products garnered much attention from all over the world.
QCD to Determine the Ultimate Goal
Three elements of QCD are essential for determining the ultimate goal of business improvement. First of all, for manufacturing a product, Quality is determined and Cost is calculated. By proceeding in this way you can predict how long the Delivery will be. This can lead to discussions within the company about the difference between the performance and the target set and how to make improvements to close that gap.
Incidentally, among the three elements of QCD, Delivery is the most effective. Shortening the delivery time will result in an improvement. In this way, not every step of QCD needs to be improved, and it is important to find and improve what you can as easily as possible.
Keep Good Balance of QCD!
There are many methods of using QCD. 100 yen shops, fast food that is fast, cheap and delicious, and chain stores that are expanding all over Japan are penetrating our daily lives. On the other hand, there is another example of using QCD, which is a custom-made bag that can be used for a long time despite its late delivery date and high price.
You can be satisfied either with a good item that can be used for a long time or saving money by buying cheap and good items. The use of QCD is based on the image of the product that you want to produce.
Thank you for reading!